Monday, April 21, 2008

Are you Serious?

While I was lauding Misha ( One of the 10 PGP'ers) and correcting some misconceptions about the PGP informed consent process....something much bigger was happening. I don't know how I missed it...but I did...

Google Buys Into Navigenics!!! That's right...Google now has a stake in 2 of the big 3.......Me? I am the 4th...merely a little guy. Our humble abode is now protected thanks to the NYS and CT Attorney Generals...for Now, well at least until Google can buy New York State.

From Business Week!!

Size of Investment Not Disclosed
Calling 23andMe an example of a company "generating a whole new batch of information of interest to a broad range of people," Pederson says Google wants to extend its capabilities into genetic testing. The precise path and business contours of the emerging gene-testing market remain unclear, but if Navigenics succeeds it "will generate a lot of a very new type of information with potentially far-reaching value," says Pederson. "We felt it was important to get involved now, at the early stage, to better understand the information generated by this fast-moving field."

Did anyone see my post about the Master Plan????? Did anyone watch the Movie??

Read an excerpt from the story

"The Google Story"

Sergey Brin and Larry Page have ambitious long-term plans for Google's expansion into the fields of biology and genetics through the fusion of science, medicine, and technology. . . .One of the most exciting Google projects involves biological and genetic research that could foster important medical and scientific breakthroughs. Through this effort, Google may help accelerate the era of personalized medicine, in which understanding an individual's precise genetic makeup can contribute to the ability of physicians and counselors to tailor health care treatment, rather than dispensing medications or recommending treatments based on statistics or averages.

"We need to use the largest computers in the world," Venter said. "Larry and Sergey have been excited about our work and about giving us access to their computers and their algorithm guys and scientists to improve the process of analyzing data. It shows the broadness of their thinking. Genetic information is going to be the leading edge of information that is going to change the world. Working with Google, we are trying to generate a gene catalogue to characterize all the genes on the planet and understand their evolutionary development.

Geneticists have wanted to do this for generations."Over time, Venter said, Google will build up a genetic database, analyze it, and find meaningful correlations for individuals and populations. . . . Google's data-mining techniques appear well-suited to the formidable challenges posed by analyzing the genetic sequence.It has begun work on this project, but has not been required to disclose any information about it publicly since the work has no impact on its current revenue and profits."

People will be able to log on to a Google site using search capacities and have the ability to understand things about themselves as they change in real time," Venter said. "What does it mean to have this variation in genes? What else is known? And instead of having a few elitist scientists doing this and dictating to the world what it means, with Google it would be creating several million scientists."Google has empowered individuals to do searches and get information and have things in seconds at their fingertips," he went on. "Where is that more important than understanding our own biology and its connection to disease and behavior? With Google, you will be able to get an understanding of your own genes. Google has the capacity to do all of this, and it is one of the discussions I have had with Larry and Sergey."

My business colleauges say "A rising tide raises all ships" But I have to tell you, I am a little worried that they want to end around healthcare not just end arounding IRBs.

My guess. Google will acquire every single bit of DNA database they can get their hands on. Why? Knowledge is power. And they want both.

The Sherpa Says:

Since this is an industry...couldn't we liken this to the XM/Sirius merger? In all seriousness. These corporate genomics companies see medical genetics as a non-scalable they want to get rid of it all together. Flying to the top of the mountain does not get you back down it. I plead with Google, please get some medical guidance. Please!!!!

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